Thursday, January 26, 2012

Does Anything Beat A Braised Pork Shoulder?

Perhaps in life we overthink what should be common sense. The short answer to the question is an emphatic "NO", nothing beats a pork shoulder which you cover in rubbed goodness, sear to perfection and then slowly cook in the oven for the next 6 to 7 hours at the whopping temperature of 275 degrees.

I didn't just toss this bad boy into an oven though. It was sitting in a nest of carrots, apples, onion, spiced rum, apple cider and brown sugar. I had some fresh rosemary, cinnamon, garlic and naturally some salt along with a few other goodies that just came into my hand, demanding to be added to the creation which was described in an early post as simply "mmmmmmmm". After that kind of endorsement, what's left but to share it with everyone online. Sounds like a good deal from where I am sitting.

So after reading the recipe, take a minute or two and read the afterthoughts on the whole dish along with a great sauce to put over the top. I am also giving a clue to the next blog post coming this weekend which is about getting ready for that all important guessed it right, time for some Super Bowl food that will really get people jumping out of their seats.


7-8 Pound Pork Shoulder, you can use a bone-in or boneless. I used a bone-in for this recipe
4-6 TBS Canola Oil, depending on the size of the roast and your pan, you may need more or less of the oil to sear the meat
2 Cups Chopped Carrots
2 Cups Chopped Onion
6 Sliced Granny Smith Apples
1/2 Quart Apple Cider

Add all the chopped items into a large aluminum roasting pan

1/2 Cup Spiced Rum
1 Tbs Flour
1 Tbs Water
(I'll tell you how to use these later on)

This next part is a little subjective. When I use certain spices, I tend to have a heavy hand with the ones I enjoy most. A spice such as cinnamon or rosemary always seems to get a little more love in my kitchen. So adjust these measurments to suit your own personal tastes!!

4 Tbs Cinnamon
1 Tbs Clove, Ground
1 Tbs Onion Powder
4 Tbs Brown Sugar
2 Tbs Rosemary
3 Tbs Chopped Garlic
2 Tbs Canola Oil

Combine all of the spices into a bowl and mix with the oil. Take the spice mixture and rub all over the roast. Using a large skillet, sear the meat using the canola oil on a medium to high heat. After the roast is seared place it into the pan surrounded by the apples and vegetables. Now, this is when you need to be really careful in the kitchen. Remove the pan you used for searing the pork and pour in the rum. This alcohol is flammable so keep it away from the heat, just allow it to break up the seasonings in the pan. Take the rum and pour it right over the top of the roast. Pour the apple cider around the meat so it is more then half covered. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place into the oven at 275 degrees. Leave it alone for 4 hours, remove and uncover. Carefully flip the roast over and cook an additional  2 to 3 hours. When the roast is done, remove and place on a platter. Remove about 3 cups of the liquid in the pan and transfer it into a small pot. Bring it to a boil. Stir in a mix of the flour and water, allow it to thicken slightly, as soon as it starts remove from the heat. Now grab a fork and rip into that roast!! Serve it with some mashed potatoes along with the sauce and enjoy the night. The whole dish takes only 30 minutes or so to make, which does not count the time the roast is in the oven slowly cooking and making everyone drift through the kitchen for the entire day.

OK, so I promised to toss in some hints about the items that make any Super Bowl party a hit. On Friday, which most likely will mean on Saturday...I will publish the recipes for my mouth watering

Roasted Red Pepper & Basil Salsa
Cranberry Orange Chutney

Both come with a quick way to make your own chips and are sure to please everyone in the room while the Patriots are trying to win us another Super Bowl!!